Oct 172018
 

Looking for a fun Day of the Dead activity for kids? Why not make an escape room? It is a fun way to engage a group of kids in crafts and puzzles related to Day of the Dead! We have you covered with a complete (though flexible) plan to set up your escape room, including a free printable pack! Perfect activity for a classroom setting or Day of the Dead party.

Day of the Dead Activity for Kids: Make an Escape Room | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book below for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

Day of the Dead Activity for Kids: Make an Escape Room

Are you throwing a Day of the Dead party or looking for a fun Day of the Dead activity for kids for your classroom? Here is a complete plan, including a printable (see below), though it is also flexible to allow you to adjust to suit your needs.

Below are eight activities (many included in the printable pack) that you can use for your Day of the Dead escape room. Any of these can be swapped out or modified to suit your group of students; however, make sure that you end up with EIGHT activities total, so that they can solve the final puzzle. The activities can be done in any order, but all must be completed before they are given the final puzzle to solve.

For each activity done or puzzle solved, the students will receive one letter (included the printable). Once they receive all eight letters, they can solve the final puzzle.

Variation: To add some excitement to this Day of the Dead activity for kids, you could set a time limit to the game then blow up some of these skeleton balloons and pop one every few minutes. (So, for example, if you are going to give them 30 minutes for the activity, blow up 6 balloons and pop one every 5 minutes). Once the last balloon is popped, time’s up!

Set Up

Depending on your layout and the size of the group, the children could work together on each activity on one large table, or you could set up each activity on a separate, smaller table, and have the children work in smaller groups, each of which would complete several of the activities. (For example, 4 small groups could do 2 activities each). However you decide, the entire group should solve the final puzzle together.

Print out the Day of the Dead Activity for Kids Escape Room Printable Pack to use where indicated below.

Activity 1: Spanish Color by Number Skull

Help them learn their colors in Spanish with this Day of the Dead color by number page.

Activity 2: Day of the Dead Song

Teach them a Day of the Dead song! Depending on their level of Spanish, they could learn the lyrics or just have fun dancing.

Activity 3: Marigold Craft

Let them create a beautiful Day of the Dead decoration to take home by teaching them to make marigolds out of tissue paper.

Activity 4: Fill in the Blanks

Work together to complete a Day of the Dead fill in the blank activity (included in the printable).

Activity 5: Papel Picado

Make banners with beautiful papel picado, either using this template or their own design.

Activity 6: Word Problem

Solve a Day of the Dead themed word problem (included in the printable).

Activity 7: Acrostic Poem

Get creative by writing their own acrostic poem about Day of the Dead! (Template included in the printable).

Activity 8: Honoring Loved Ones

While Day of the Dead has become a popular holiday, it’s important to remind kids about the real meaning behind it, which is to honor and remember loved ones that have passed on. Have each student make a drawing of a loved one or hero that has passed on, along with a sentence or two about what they remember about them. (Worksheet included in the printable).

Final Puzzle:

Finish off your Day of the Dead activity for kids by having them solve one final puzzle! This puzzle (included in the printable) is solved using the letters earned with each completed activity.

Treats

Be sure to have plenty of Day of the Dead treats on hand to reward them for their hard work! You could have pan de muerto (bread of the dead), sweet pumpkin dessert, or these crispy rice treats, and, of course, candy skulls! Don’t forget these Day of the Dead cupcake toppers!

 

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We love to travel and learn about other cultures, but sometimes it can lead to misunderstandings! That’s why I love this new book from @worldwidebuddies, The Marvelous Mexican Misunderstanding! When Adri and his family move back to Mexico, he is puzzled about the Day of the Dead he hears everyone talking about. When he tries to find out more about it, his sister teases him and tells him it’s the day he’s going to die! Ride along with Adri as his family prepares for the big day – and he finally discovered what it’s really all about! This is a great book to introduce kids to Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico and let them know that misunderstandings are normal! 

A post shared by Leanna || Parenting, Education (@alldonemonkey) on

While they enjoy their treats, read this fun new picture book for older kids! A Marvelous Mexican Misunderstanding is a great introduction to Day of the Dead from the perspective of a young boy whose family has recently moved back to Mexico. Like most children, Adri has heard some about Day of the Dead but finds much of it confusing. And to top it all off, his older sister decides to play a trick on him, telling him that Day of the Dead is when Adri is going to die!

Young readers will identify with Adri’s confusion and enjoy the happy resolution, learning all about the beautiful Day of the Dead holiday along the way.

I loved the artwork in A Marvelous Mexican Misunderstanding, which captures the emotional tenor of the story as well as providing some stunning views of Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico. My favorite was the nighttime boat ride to the island of Janitzio, twinkling with candlelight. My sons enjoyed Adri’s sometimes funny, sometimes nerve-wracking misunderstandings – plus his pet axolotl, of course!

While you can order A Marvelous Mexican Misunderstanding by itself, you can also find it as part of a Dead of the Dead story box that includes toys, games, and activities to teach children about this marvelous Mexican celebration!

What is your favorite Day of the Dead activity for kids?

Related Posts:

Children’s Books for Day of the Dead

Easy Day of the Dead Craft

The Aztec: Top Books for Children

Day of the Dead series | Multicultural Kid Blogs
Multicultural Kid Blogs is proud to be hosting another blog hop for Day of the Dead! (Don’t miss our series from last year, 2017, and 2016!) Be sure to visit all the posts below for great ideas on sharing Day of the Dead with kids:

Oct 192016
 
 October 19, 2016  crafts, Day of the Dead, raising world citizens Comments Off on Easy Day of the Dead Craft

Easy, No Prep Day of the Dead Craft | Alldonemonkey.com

Looking for a fun, no-prep Day of the Dead craft using materials you already have? Here is a fun one that you can do anytime with your kids – and it’s not even messy! (Mom for the win!) All you need is paper, markers, glue, and cereal – that’s it! It’s a great after school activity to encourage creativity and learning, and it comes with a built in snack 😉

Easy Day of the Dead Craft

Materials

Paper

Markers

Glue

Cereal: We used Trix and Cocoa Puffs because they are so colorful, just like the Day of the Dead skulls and decorations. My kids didn’t mind having them to snack on while they worked, either!

Easy No Prep Day of the Dead Craft | Alldonemonkey.com

Instructions

Draw or download a Day of the Dead skull image

Decorate the image using your markers until you have a final design. Day of the Dead skulls are often decorated with flowers. You can also give yours a fun hat or costume!

Easy No Prep Day of the Dead Craft | Alldonemonkey.com

Glue the Trix and Cocoa Puffs cereal onto your design to add color and texture.

Easy No Prep Day of the Dead Craft | Alldonemonkey.com

Once you’ve completed your pictures, set them out to dry and enjoy a snack!

For more Day of the Dead fun, don’t miss the big General Mills Day of the Dead event in Los Angeles on October 29 from 12-8 pm! You can also find recipes, more event information, videos, and coupons on the Cereal con Cariño homepage!

Oct 132015
 

Children's Books for Day of the Dead | Alldonemonkey.com

The Day of the Dead is rapidly becoming a popular holiday in the United States.  The following books are great to teach children about the holiday, and range from books that are more informational to those that are more for fun and finally to those that center on children who are dealing with the loss of loved ones.

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.

Children’s Books for Day of the Dead

Introductory

A great book to introduce children to this festival is The Day of the Dead/El Dia de Los Muertos. It’s rhyming text covers the basics of the holiday without being too overwhelming for young readers (additional information is included at the book). The artwork itself – which was inspired by the work of well-known Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada – is wonderful, incorporating traditional symbols and capturing the spirit of Day of the Dead.

One of my favorite discoveries was Un barrilete / Barrilete: para el Día de los Muertos / A Kite for the Day of the Dead.  It is a beautifully photographed book about a young boy in a village in Guatemala famous for the incredible kites the villagers make every year for Day of the Dead.  It is a wonderful book because it tells how Day of the Dead is celebrated outside Mexico and lets children take a peek into the lives of other children as they prepare their incredible kites and get ready for a very special day.

Fun with Calaveras (Skeletons)

Some of these books do not specifically mention Day of the Dead, but they all either exhibit artwork associated with the holiday or are in the spirit of the festival.

The art of paper mache skeletons is celebrated in this ABC book for Day of the Dead. Based on the life and work of a real family of artisans in Mexico, Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book tells of a family getting ready for Day of the Dead by making their special life-sized paper mache skeletons, which are then featured in an A-Z display of all the different professions an aspiring skeleton might be, whether an Angel or Bruja or a Zapatero!

I love the illustrations and poetry in The Festival of Bones / El festival de las calaveras, a wonderful look at how skeletons celebrate Day of the Dead after being cooped up all year. Also includes an essay at the end about the holiday, including recipes and activities.

Mi Familia Calaca / My Skeleton Family does not actually mention Day of the Dead, though its theme of a skeleton family is an obvious reference.  The text itself is quite simple; the real star is the artwork: paper mache skeletons made by a young artist from Oaxaca, Mexico, in the traditional method.  (Each figure took one month to construct!)  This is a great book to showcase skeleton art from Mexico and how, unlike in the United States, skeletons there are not seen as creepy or scary at all!

A list of Latino children’s books just wouldn’t be complete without including the incomparable Yuyi Morales.  Just a Minute! is a fun trickster tale and counting book, in which clever Grandma Beetle outwits Señor Calavera (Mister Skeleton), who has come to take her away.  She agrees to go but delays him with Uno (One) having to sweep one house, Dos (Two) having to boil two pots of tea, and so on until Señor Calavera unwittingly helps Grandma Beetle prepare a special surprise that makes him forget all about taking her away!  We love reading this book together, as well as the sequel Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book, when Señor Calavera prepares for Grandma Beetle’s party by looking for a very special gift.  Learn vocabulary and the Spanish alphabet as he searches for what Grandma Beetle would love the most.

Another fun skeleton book is The Dead Family Diaz, about a dead family preparing to make their annual trip to the Land of the Living during the Day of the Dead festival.  But young Angelito is scared about what the living are like.  Is it true that they are squishy and have bulging eyes like his sister says?  When he gets separated from his family and becomes lost among the living, Angelito must turn to a new friend to help him.  A really cute book that showcases many aspects of the Day of the Dead festival and imagines a friendship between two young boys from opposite worlds.

Dance along with the skeletons in Clatter Bash! A Day of the Dead Celebration as they come out of their tombs to celebrate Day of the Dead.  They enjoy the offerings left for them and enjoy playing in the cemetery and around the town.  The text is simple but lively, to go with the colorful pictures of the skeletons’ fiesta.

Remembering Loved Ones

Ghost Wings is a beautiful book about a girl dealing with the loss of a beloved grandmother.  Her father tells her that when you love someone, they never really leave, just like the monarch butterflies that return to the Magic Circle in the forest every autumn.  When the butterflies return that fall and the Days of the Dead arrive, she discovers the joy in remembering her grandmother and celebrating her life.  Includes information about Day of the Dead and the monarch butterflies as well as a guide to using the book to discuss feelings and memories with children.

The image of butterflies can also be seen in Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead. Each year when the monarch butterflies return, Lupita knows that Day of the Dead will soon be here. But this year’s celebration will be different for Lupita, whose favorite uncle has just passed away. It was he who taught her not to harm the butterflies, since they are believed to be the souls of the departed. Though the rituals of Day of the Dead comfort Lupita, it is not until she sees a lone butterfly flying above her uncle’s grave that the gloom begins to lift from her heart.

Beto and The Bone Dance is also about a child remembering his grandmother during the Day of the Dead, though it is a bit less melancholy than other of the books listed here. Beto wants to make something special for his Grandmother, who has recently died, but others have already made pan de muertos and Grandmother’s favorite drinks and foods.  Luckily, Beto receives help from someone very special to add to the altar what Grandmother loved of all.

Another book about a child dealing with loss is Felipa and the Day of the Dead.  It is from a German author, who was moved by the Day of the Dead celebrations she witnessed when studying art in Mexico.  Years later she traveled to Bolivia and studied their Todos Santos traditions, on which she based this beautiful book.  When Felipa’s grandmother dies, Felipa asks all the animals and searches through the mountains to find her grandmother’s soul.  Her father tells her that the souls of the dead live in another world, but they come to visit every year in November.  When the day finally arrives, Felipa helps with the preparations and visits the cemetery to remember her grandmother and visit with her there.  She is still sad but hopeful that each year she will have this special day to visit with her grandmother.

A beautifully done book about loss is Maria Molina and the Days of the Dead. Though Maria’s family does not have much money, they find special ways to celebrate Day of the Dead, which she describes as being like a family reunion.  For Maria, the heart of the festival is spent in the graveyard, remembering loved ones who have died.  (Note: One of those that Maria has lost is her infant brother, Pablo).  When Maria moves with her family to the United States, she wonders how they will continue to honor the dead in their new home, yet she discovers that the spirit of Day of the Dead can be continued even far away from Mexico.

When Rosita’s grandmother dies, Rosita is inconsolable, until her grandfather tells her that she can show her grandmother how much she misses her by making her a gift for Day of the Dead. Gift For Abuelita / Un regalo para Abuelita really shows the love that infuses all of the rituals of the Day of the Dead, and what a comfort it can be to loved ones.

Day of the Dead series | Multicultural Kid BlogsThis post is part of the Day of the Dead series on Multicultural Kid Blogs.  Follow along all month as we share ideas for teaching children about this festival!

Oct 112013
 

15+ Skeleton Crafts & Activities - Alldonemonkey.com - Perfect for Halloween or Day of the Dead

Last fall Monkey was fascinated with scarecrows.  This year?  He loves skeletons!  I guess my little boy is growing up! 😉

Luckily he’s not into the spooky stuff yet (not sure I’m ready for that!).  He likes skeletons mainly because he thinks x-rays are so cool.  The fact that they are also associated with Halloween just adds to the fun!

(See my X-ray post, part of the 31 Days of ABCs series!)

So here are great posts from some blogging friends about skeletons – perfect for Halloween and Day of the Dead!  For more ideas, check out my Fall Fun for Kids Pinterest Board or the Day of the Dead Pinterest board from Multicultural Kid Blogs.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase after clicking through to Amazon, I will receive a small commission.

Skeletons Everywhere!

http://www.fortheloveofspanish.com/2013/10/e-de-esqueleto-skeleton-crafts.html

To get us started, For the Love of Spanish has some wonderful crafts and activities, as well as book recommendations, for teaching the letter “E” for esqueleto (skeleton).

Of course, skeletons can also be used to teach about the human body, as shown with this Montessori-Inspired Skeleton Unit on Living Montessori Now.  You will find lots of great resources here!

Treats

Red Ted Art - Skull Cake Pops - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

You can learn how to make Skull Cake Pops at Red Ted Art…

Candy Bones - FSPDT - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

… or candy bone snacks from Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails.

Halloween

You are the roots - Halloween Crafting - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

I already have my Q-tips and glue ready for Monkey and I to do this skeleton craft from You Are the Roots!

Dinosaur-Skeleton-Fantastic Fun and Learning - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

How much fun are these play dough x-ray skeletons from Fantastic Fun and Learning?

Marshmallow Skull - No Time for Flash Cards - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

And what kid wouldn’t want to make a skull out of marshmallows, like this one from No Time for Flash Cards?

Crystal's Tiny Treasures- Skeletons in the Closet - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

Ooh, do you have skeletons in your closet?  They do over at Crystal’s Tiny Treasures!

Easy-Skeleton-Costume - Red Ted Art - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

And here’s an easy skeleton costume from Red Ted Art.   They also made these great skull and cross bone cards!

Teach your kids Spanish with this fun skeleton song from Spanish Playground!  She also recommends the book Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes. “It has Spanish Halloween words woven into the text and is just scary enough that certain kids love it. It is not strictly about skeletons, but there are plenty in the book.”

Day of the Dead

Ever wonder why there are so many skeletons and skulls for Day of the Dead?  Here is a great explanation of the holiday from Kid World Citizen.

Skeletons Everywhere!  Popsicle Stick Calaveras Craft from Spanglish Baby on Alldonemonkey.com

I love this adorable popsicle stick calaveras craft from Spanglish Baby!  It really shows how Day of the Dead is not meant to be scary.

You can also find great coloring pages and other printables for Day of the Dead at Spanish Playground.

Fancy Day of the Dead Skulls - Kid World Citizen - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

Love these fancy Day of the Dead skulls from Kid World Citizen.  As her daughter says: “Glitter makes everything better!”

Green Owl Art - Packing Peanut Skull Day of the Dead - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

I never would have thought to make skulls out of packing peanuts like these from Green Owl Art!

Toddling in the Fast Lane made a fun matching game to go with the Calavera Abecedario.

For more on Day of the Dead, visit this wonderful slideshow from Kid World Citizen.

Thank you to all of the bloggers who let me share their amazing posts here!  Are you ready for Halloween and Day of the Dead?

This post has been shared at Pinning for Play, Share It Saturday, and Crafty Moms Share’s Sharing Saturday.

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